An ice knife is a tool used for climbing in alpine, rock climbing and to climb icy sections. It can also serve as a rappel and belay tool. It is useful for steep slopes which have short descents.
The Ice Axe Maintenance has three major parts: the shaft, the adze and the pick. The shaft is made of a strong, but lightweight material such carbon fibre. It is usually asymmetrical. It can be lengthened or reduced to meet your requirements (see below).
For the best performance, your shafts should always be sharpened. If the shaft is too dull, it will not penetrate the ice as easily and you may have to spend more time hooking into it, which takes away from your climbing time.
Before you use the axe, make sure it is properly sharpened. If it is not properly sharpened, it may not function properly or, worse, cause injury for your hand and wrist. The shafts should also be lubricated before use to help with traction and prevent rusting.
High-quality technical tools are best for ice climbing on long, challenging routes. They are more expensive, but they are generally designed to last longer and have better clearance than general-mountaineering ice axes.
A good iceaxe has a curved shaft. Its curve provides a comfortable grip for snow or ice hiking, and the recurve allows it to be used as a self-arrest device.
The adze is a broad, shovel-like tool used to cut steps and seats in ice or snow. The adze is usually held in a self belay grip with the axe head facing forward. This allows you to quickly escape or lose your footing. It’s also easier to switch between self -belay or self-arrest positions with the adze, without having to reposition it or take it off.
In addition, the adze helps you maintain a stable balance when swinging the ice axe as you move up or down a steep slope. You can even use it for climbing straight lines at 45-degree angles.
Before you descend a steep hill, you’ll need to make sure your pick is securely buried in the snow. This technique is slower than the others, but it will prevent you from falling down the slope.
Axe Positions: Cross-body, low-dagger, and high-dagger
The simplest stance is the low-dagger. It consists of holding the axe in your uphill hand, and jabbing it down into the snow at a spot just above the ground, or slightly higher than your current location. This allows you to be in a balanced position and prepares your body to assume a cross-body posture while you pull up on the axe.